Eileen Frances Patricia (Lyons) Higgins of Wollaston died peacefully on July 9 at the age of 90.
Beloved wife of the late William S. Higgins, Jr. Devoted mother of Eileen Higgins Robichaud and her husband, David, of West Concord, Liz O’Leary and her husband, Rick, of Croton Falls, NY, Kathleen Higgins Broderick and her husband, Matt, of Cohasset and the late Monica Anne Higgins of Wollaston and Cambridge. Fun loving Nanny to Charlie and Gabe Robichaud, Richard and William O’Leary, and Kate, Will and Thomas Broderick. Beloved sister of the late Anne L. Sullivan of Jamaica Plain and the late Betty O’Malley of Clinton. She will be missed by her Lyons and Higgins nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Higgins grew up in East Somerville, the daughter of Jeremiah and Annie (Murphy) Lyons, immigrants from County Cork, Ireland. She attended the Little Flower School and St. Benedict’s High School in East Somerville. She was a clerk-stenographer at the Boston District of the FBI where she made many lifelong friends and could recount the Brinks robbery file number at any given moment. She held several offices of the Boston Chapter of the Society of the Former FBI Women including president and was a faithful member for many years.
Mrs. Higgins was the records officer at the Boston Athenaeum for more than 20 years. Upon her retirement, the Boston Athenaeum endowed the Eileen Lyons Higgins Book Fund.
She had a lifelong love of reading and instilled this love in her daughters and grandchildren. She was proud of the fact that like herself, each of her daughters and her granddaughter either worked for or volunteered at a library including the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, in North Salem, NY, The Dinand Library at the College of the Holy Cross, The MacPhaidin Library at Stonehill College and The Paul Pratt Memorial Library in Cohasset; and her daughter, Monica, was the director of events at the Boston Athenaeum.
Mrs. Higgins was proud of her Irish heritage and researched her genealogy which she passed down to her family. She loved to attend Irish social dances and sewed and embroidered many Irish step dancing costumes. Mrs. Higgins would playfully recount the memory of her first phone conversation with her father in the 1940s, as it was only then that she realized he did, indeed, have an Irish brogue.
She loved her home of 57 years on Kemper Street in Wollaston and her many friends from the Kem-Bass neighborhood and St. Ann’s Parish. She made a new home in late 2017 at the Fenno House Assisted Living Facility in Wollaston. Mrs. Higgins’ family would like to thank the Fenno House staff and her private aides who allowed her to lead her best life these last years.
Memorial donations may be made either to the Pat Roche Hospice House, where she and her family received amazing care at the end of her life, or the Quincy Animal Shelter.
Funeral services are private.
Funeral arrangements were made by Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., Quincy.